You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that using a charcoal chimney is going to be one of the most important parts of your grilling experience. It’s what’s going to provide you with the right amount of heat and light for your grill. These 7 pieces of advice will help you decide which one is best for you and ensure that you’ll have a good time, every time!
1. Lighting It Up
It might be easy to get swept away in the excitement of your grilling experience, but you need to remember that charcoal needs airflow. Without proper ventilation, it will go out and not give you the heat or light effects that you’re looking for. The way to solve this problem is simply to figure out the best way to light a charcoal grill. You can use a chimney starter or place coals on a charcoal grate and set them on fire. The important thing to remember is that this process takes time, so make sure you plan accordingly.
2. Knowing The Right Time To Add Heat
You might be tempted to wait and add the heat when your food gets close to completion, but it’s not a good idea. You should do it as soon as your grill is ready. Once you’re sure that the coals are lit, wait until they turn grey. If you can hold your hand a little above them for no more than 5 seconds, then you’re good to go!
3. The Distractions Start Piling Up
You might be having a great time mingling with guests or enjoying yourself while working on a side dish, but if you allow your heat and flame to die out too much, it will be hard to get them going again. When this happens it’s usually because you don’t have enough charcoal in the chimney starter or because you’ve left them burning for too long without adding any additional briquettes. It’s always best to stay with your fire just in case it needs some help. It will only take 5 minutes or less for everything to get back on track.
4. How Long Does It Take?
As mentioned above, the length of time you’ll have to wait before adding heat will depend on what type of method you used to light your coals. If you used a chimney starter, then this process usually takes about 10-15 minutes. You can tell that they’re ready when they turn grey and emit smoke from their edges. Remember not to add heat until they’ve turned grey all across the surface; lighting them up too early is one of the most common mistakes people make without even realizing it!
5. Knowing When To Add More Briquettes
Here’s another common mistake that people make when using a charcoal chimney starter. They add more briquettes before they’ve completely burned out the ones they already have. Remember to only add additional charcoal after your fire has been going for 30 minutes or more. Also, you can tell if it’s time by paying close attention to how fast the coals are burning and watching the color of the flame. If it turns orange, then you need to start adding heat again.
6. The Cleanup Process
Unfortunately, this is going to be one of those things that you’ll have to deal with all too often during your grilling experience. One way that you can avoid spending unnecessary time on cleanup is by completely emptying your chimney after every use. If you don’t, it’s going to be very hard for you to get rid of all the ashes and other materials that can make cleanup such a chore. One way that people often clean out their charcoal chimneys is by pouring warm water into them and then allowing them to dry out completely before using or storing them again. However, this isn’t necessary if it’s your first time and you’re trying not to spend too much time on cleansing processes.
7. Something You Might Have Missed
You should always pay close attention to what’s going on inside your chimney starter during this entire process. It’s at this point that you can tell whether or not you’re doing everything correctly. For instance, if the coals are extremely light in color once you’ve turned them grey, then it means that they’re ready for adding heat. However, if they’re black and still producing a lot of smoke, then it means that they’re not quite ready yet. Add more charcoal as needed.
Charcoal chimney starters are great for cooking over a campfire, but only if you know how to use them properly. Using one of these tools can be intimidating at first because they seem difficult to understand at first glance. However, once you get past this initial period and start using them regularly, you’ll be able to see just how easy they are!